Hazelnuts are also known as cob nuts and filberts, although whether the hazelnut and the filbert are indeed the same thing is a widely debated subject. Those who believe that the two are different argue that the filbert and the hazelnut come from different species of the hazel tree. Moreover, a hazelnut is believed to be rounder in shape while the variety that is twice as long as it is wide is the filbert. Nevertheless, when shelled and skinned, both nuts have the same shape and taste. If they are not exactly the same thing, then they are definitely related; the filbert could be a cousin to the hazelnut, if the words cannot be used interchangeably.
Although hazelnuts are available all year round, they are more popularly harvested in August when they are believed to be most in abundance, or in autumn, when they fall to the ground on their own and are hence easier to collect. They are commercially produced today in most of Western Europe (particularly France and Italy), in Northwest America, but most widely and largely by Turkey who remains the biggest producer of hazelnuts in the world to date, producing about two-thirds of the world’s supply.
History of Hazelnuts